Leslie Ferguson
Feb 22, 2019 · 2 min read

5 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Start Writing

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

1. Keep a journal

Keep it in the same place every day and write something, anything. Every day. Record your thoughts, fears, and aspirations. Studies show that journaling can ease stress. Besides, you never know when the mundane aspects of daily life will inspire your next great story, poem, or essay. The goal is not to write flawlessly but to form a habit, so you become more comfortable with showing up to the blank page. Put yourself on it and watch your stories soar like the beautiful birds they were meant to be.

2. Start a Blog

Even if you only get one follower, maintaining a blog will help keep you disciplined. It’s a great way to begin establishing your author platform, and it’s one more fun, creative thing to focus on in the readerly, writerly realm. Writing drafts and preparing them for blog publication strengthens your writing chops. It’s time to get yourself out there in the cyberspace where you can share little pieces of your world with your social media fan base (real or imaginary).

3. Create a Calendar of Deadlines

Visit the schedule regularly, and submit, submit, submit! There’s nothing like a recurring influx of rejection notices to keep that creative spirit alive…Seriously though, when you finally get an acceptance letter, your bummed out heart will do a sweet little dance. It’s worth it. I’ve heard the saying “Writers write,” but I’d like to amend that and pronounce, “Writers revise (for the purpose of publication because writers have something to say).” Speak your truth, and let the map of days pave the way for action and progress.

4. Make a List of Story Ideas

But focus your efforts on one story at a time. Coming from someone who’s got too many projects going at once, I know the bane to existence juggling creates. Don’t let your ideas go, but put them aside, on paper, and focus on finishing one project before tackling another. However, sometimes your current project needs to breathe, and that’s when your list of ideas swoops in to save the day. It keeps you writing, moving, and producing, so you are less likely to remain stagnant in front of your Netflix cache eating Oreos. Don’t be too hard on yourself — eat some Oreos, but be true to your writer-self. Move those pens, click those keyboards, and get those stories written.

5. Join an Online Writing Community

Sites like Scribophile.com provide an opportunity for writers to connect through shared critiques and feedback on polished written work. Become associated with groups of people who write in your genre, and participate in regular, ongoing critique exchanges. Having readers who eagerly await your next post can light a serious fire under you and motivate you to write.

For more from the author, go to Mentallywellish.com.

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